A duty to act…or not?

I do my best to steer clear of politics here at A Goode One. But this…this isn’t a political issue. This is so much more.

Don of All Trades is one of my favorite blogs, written by a police officer. He’s occasionally funny, often irreverent, and always — ALWAYS– able to get right to the heart of the matter.

don of all trades

When I used to teach law at the police academy, one of the subjects that always stirred some lively debate was that of criminal liability and, in particular, how that relates to any duty we as citizens and the class as future police officers, owe to others.

As a general rule, we don’t owe other people any duty to act on their behalf, even in an emergency, and this includes police officers.

In other words, doing nothing isn’t against the law unless there’s a statute or relationship in law that requires one to act on behalf of another.

An example of a statute making the failure to do something illegal would be something like one that makes failing to pay (failing to act) your taxes or licensing your car illegal.

A relationship in law that would punish a failure to act would include a parent/child relationship. Failing to feed or…

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